According to Ukrainian authorities, at least 20 people were killed and others were injured in a Russian cruise missile assault on the central Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia by a submarine in the Black Sea on Thursday.
Thick black smoke billowed out of a towering structure in the city, which is distant from the frontlines, following one of the bloodiest single hits on a civilian target since Russia invaded on Feb. 24.
According to authorities, three children were among those killed. One image shared on social media showed an overturned pram on the street, with a shrouded corpse near it. The roadway was littered with the mangled remnants of burned-out autos and smoldering debris.
Ukraine’s military claimed three Russian Kalibr cruise missiles launched from an unknown submarine struck Vinnytsia, a normally peaceful city 200 kilometers (125 miles) southwest of Kyiv, and that Ukrainian troops shot down two more.
According to police, the injured included around 50 persons who were critically injured, while 15 others were unaccounted for.
“Cruise missiles hit two community facilities, houses were destroyed, a medical centre was destroyed, the cars and trams were on fire,” stated President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
“This is the act of Russian terror … 20 people died as of now,” he stated through video link to an international conference aimed at pursuing war crimes perpetrated in Ukraine.
The Russian defense ministry did not immediately respond to Vinnytsia’s claims. Russia, which invaded Ukraine on February 24, has denied intentionally killing people and has denied committing war crimes.